John Campbell, San Juan Capistrano
Regarding the sale of the property at 31776 El Camino Real and 26874 Ortega Highway:
The San Juan Capistrano City Council should select a bid that creates the maximum public benefit. Developing a framework of criteria, open and shared with the community, is the most objective way to do that. The following criteria are strongly aligned with public benefit:
Adhere to the Historic Town Center Master Plan
These properties are the gateway into town, and as such, should be developed in a way that is consistent with the Historic Town Center Master Plan, and be complementary to Mission San Juan. This site will become a source of civic pride for the city, enhancing the lives of our residents and visitors for generations to come. The project should serve as a landmark highlighting the entry to downtown San Juan Capistrano.
The selected bid should provide significant additional parking spaces, not just for the use of the project, but to help ease the overall parking shortage in the town and enable the “park once” concept. Knowing that it will be fast and easy to find parking will make it more pleasurable to enjoy the many amenities of San Juan Capistrano.
Continue and Expand Commitment to the Performing Arts
The selected bid should include a long-term commitment for a performing arts facility to enable broader public benefit. This would extend the heritage of the Camino Real Playhouse, which has been operating on this site for 26 years, and provide entertainment and education for thousands of local citizens and their children, as well as draw visitors from across Southern California.
Attract More People to Benefit Downtown Restaurants and Businesses
The selected bid should include a combination of performing arts, a diverse set of retail, restaurant and commercial facilities, and public parking that strengthens our downtown community and will draw residents and visitors to contribute to the city’s goal of a “lively 18-hour mixed environment.”
Demonstrate Financial Viability
The selected bid should evidence strong financial viability during construction and initial occupancy, and should endure for years to come. Diversity of uses and flexible spaces will help ensure this. The selected bid should have a strong proposal for either a for-profit or a non-profit 501(c)3 operating structure for the performing arts component to assure its success. Projects should be rated on long-term financial public benefit to the city of San Juan Capistrano and surrounding businesses.
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